Monday, May 18, 2015

AMA Answers #2

More of my answers to your charming questions on my "Ask Me Anything" post last week.  (And if you still want to leave a comment asking questions, you certainly may.  I'll finish up answering the rest in a couple days.)


-What is the most difficult/hard to finish book you've ever read? Did you end up getting through it?

Hmm.  Probably The Iliad.  I did finish it, but it took me over a month, and I was not particularly enthusiastic about it.

-What are you primarily- a reader who writes, or a writer who reads? Somebody asked me this recently and I thought it was a fascinating question.

That IS a fascinating question!  I think I am a reader who writes.  I tend to write books because I myself want to read them, and no one else has written them yet, so I have to.

-If you were stranded on a desert island with one book character, who would you select?

Robinson Crusoe.  He's so clever and resourceful!  And also has remarkable faith.

(Yes, I know this wasn't the most faithful adaptation ever.
HOWEVER!  Pierce Brosnan is always a good idea.)

-Favorite Ice Cream Flavor? :)

Mint chocolate chip :-9

Naomi Bennet

How did you meet 'Cowboy'? :-)

We met at college, at the beginning of my sophomore year, his freshman.  We had two classes together that fall semester, Self-Defense and German.  I found him conceited and annoying, but he was friends with some of my friends, so I kept bumping into him outside classes, and once I got beneath what I had perceived to be hubris, I discovered he was intelligent, kind, and sincere, just without a great deal of social grace, shall we say.  Also, he had magnificently broad shoulders and really cute dimples :-)  And he kept showing up places where I was, like sitting by me in chapel, eating lunch with me and our mutual friends, so I got the feeling he liked me.  (He swears this was unintentional.)

During the spring semester, he asked to borrow some notes from me.  I screwed my courage to the sticking point and wrote in the margins, "If you like me so much, why don't you ask me out already?"  So he did.  We've been together ever since.  

Have you read Gone with the Wind? Like, Love or Hate?

I have.  I liked it fine, but have no great desire to read it again any time soon.  I do watch the movie every few years, though.

Have you ever visited the UK?

No, but it's on my bucket list!  I want to visit Baker Street, the Globe Theater, Stratford on Avon, interesting Jane Austen sites, something J.R.R Tolkien-related... all sorts of literary places :-)

What's your favourite Jane Austen movie?

The 1996 Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Have you seen Little Dorrit?

No :-(  I have to admit I'm not a huge Dickens fan.  However, lots of people speak so highly of that adaptation that I've added it to my to-watch list.  (Plus, Matthew Macfadyen!)

Have you ever found a note in a library book? Or written one, for that matter?

I have found all sorts of interesting things in library books, sometimes tucked in the pages, sometimes scribbled in the margins.  I've found grocery lists, old cash register receipts, and sometimes a note to someone else.  I've also read books where someone felt compelled to correct a typo, and sometimes I've found a comment or word written in, for whatever reason.  I myself Do Not Ever Write In Library Books.  I've probably accidentally left some oddment I was using as a bookmark in one at some time or other, though.  

OH!  I just remembered that after reading The Man in the Box by Mary Lois Dunn for the third or fourth time, I wrote a poem about it (I was probably 14 or so) called "To the Reader:  An Ode" (not at all a pretentious 14-year-old, you can see), copied it off on a sticky note, and stuck it inside the front cover of the book.  I used to go and check and see if it was still there when I went to the library, and for a long time, it was.

That's all for today, kiddos.  Thanks for all the fascinating questions!  


  1. Goodness, thank you for answering my questions so well. :-)

    I LOVE you and 'Cowboy's story! It like Pride and Prejudice! Or Anne and Gilbert. Haha, you wrote that in the margins? That's so sweet. :-)
    (Yes, I am a sucker for love-stories even though they are pretty simple. I want to ask everyone how they met their spouse- it's one of my favourite questions!)

    I understand why GWTW isn't your absolute favourite... but at least you don't hate it. :-)

    OH YES YOU MUST WATCH LITTLE DORRIT. (I told myself I wasn't allowed to write that, because it's annoying when people do (because you're probably like, 'Yeah, I knowww') but really, watch it. ;-P

    Oh, I didn't mean actually write IN the book. I meant shoving a little piece of paper inside with a small note on it. OF course I didn't mean writing IN the book. It's cool though, the things you find in library books. Shows how books carry people's lives around! :-)

    And CGrace, that question about reader who writes/writer who reads is a lovely one indeed!

    ~ Naomi

    1. So the funny thing is, when I was a teen, I was terrified that I was going to end up falling in love with some guy I couldn't stand, like Anne and Gilbert or Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy or so many other literary instances of that happening. I would look at the guys I knew that I disliked and just go, "Gah! What if I end up married to one of them? Oh, gross!" And then, yup, I ended up marrying a guy I initially disliked. But only because I didn't know him and understand him yet, at least, not because he was an icky guy.

      And yes, I wrote in the margins of the notes he borrowed. First, I consulted a bunch of mutual friends to be sure he didn't have a girlfriend I didn't know about -- I'm horribly cautious, lol. I think for our anniversary next month, I'll post the long story of how we got together on my other blog, if I have time to write it up, just cuz it amuses me :-)

      So I thought my library had Little Dorrit, but they don't! ARGH! I'm going to have to either buy a copy or maybe rent it online from Amazon or something. Hmph.

    2. I'd LOVE to read a full-sized story. :-)

    3. Naomi -- I will do my best! Check my Soliloquy blog in mid-June :-)

  2. Hee! We finally have a book you don't really like that I LOVED. The Iliad. But I had read the story of the Trojan war over and over as a kid. When I finally hit classics class in college and got to read the real thing, I devoured that sucker. (But there're so many translations and versions out there that I may simply have had a more interesting one than you had to read?) One of our assignments that I loved was to add a section to the Iliad, in the same style. That was fun. We also read the Odyssey and the Aeneid, and I loved those too, but not as much as the Iliad. I almost switched my major to classics, just because of how much I loved it. :-D

    1. I think maybe I had a crummy translation. IIRC, Hemingway recommended one particular translation as being the most beautiful, so I'd like to try to find that one some day and try the Odyssey.

  3. heehee. Like Naomi, I'm hopelessly interested in how people met their spouses. I loved reading your story! :)

    I've found a few notes in books before, and once I came across a book where someone had scratched out a use of the Lord's name in vain...once. I still don't know why if they decided to do that once why they weren't consistent, since they didn't do it throughout the rest of the book. Maybe they chickened out because it was a library book? I guess I'll never know...

    And yes! Emma 1996 for the win. I love that movie. (and I also second that you need to go watch Little Dorrit- it's my favorite Dickens' adaptation and it's so good!)

    1. Thanks! I must admit my how-I-met-your-father story does amuse me.

      I edit out "bad words" in my own books sometimes. The junior fiction, mostly.

      Like I replied to Naomi above, I thought my library had Little Dorrit, but they don't, so I'll have to find another way to watch it. Hmm.

  4. That story of how you met Cowboy, though. That is adorable:D

    Someone else who isn't Dickens' biggest fan. Yay us:) And, to be honest…I didn't really like LD. But don't tell anyone, because if they're reminded they might kill me;)

    1. Olivia -- hee. Glad you like the story!

      Dickens... I keep trying to appreciate him. Maybe one day, I will. I do love A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol, but I've never felt compelled to re-read any of his other books I've read. I do keep trying, though.

  5. I completely agree about the Iliad! I would probably say that that was my most difficult book, as well. The gore and the endless war scenes just exhausted me.

    And I always love stories of how couples met. So fun to read! Thanks for answering all those great questions!

    1. CGrace -- it's such a different style from modern books, isn't it? And yes, it's very relentless.

      I'm glad you liked the story of how we met :-)

  6. I really enjoyed The Iliad. I read it for one of my World Lit classes, and my teacher was super awesome. She always brought simplified versions of the story (both print and television) to class for us to compare and discuss. Maybe it's harder to read on your own?

    Interesting Cowboy story. I didn't get along with my husband initially either--maybe those are the best ones with which to end up, just like the books?

    1. Just goes to show that first impressions of people are often erroneous, and we should always give people second chances instead of deciding we dislike them!

      I think reading The Iliad with a class or read-along would have helped me.

  7. *happy romantic sniffle*

    I'm just swooning over your love story. So so so sweet. :-)

  8. Your story of how you met your husband is SO sweet! As Naomi said above, it's like Lizzy and Darcy! Or Margaret and Thornton! :)

    1. Hee, thanks! Yes, Lizzy and Darcy, Margaret and Thornton, Anne and Gilbert -- so many couples where the girl didn't like the guy at first.

    2. I was just thinking of Anne and Gil! :D

  9. I loved this post! Aww... Your story about how you met Cowboy is so sweet! It's just like a storybook. (-:
    If you get to England someday, I've heard that The Eagle and Child is a really charming little place. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and some of their friends met there and talked about writing and such. (-:
    And I do have a question or two for you.
    Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
    Have you seen 'Merlin'? If so, what did you think of it?

    1. Thanks for the tip on "The Eagle and the Child" -- I'll keep it in mind.

      Putting my answers to your questions into my final answer post :-)


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